Shane Watson has credited India superstar MS Dhoni for his Indian Premier League form as the Chennai Super Kings prepare to launch an assault on the finals.
Watson has contributed 438 runs and six wickets in this campaign, his one century and two half-centuries the equal-best output for the former Australia Test captain in 10 editions of the tournament.
The evergreen allrounder is now eyeing a second IPL title, a decade on from his last triumph with Rajasthan in 2008.
“I’m very fortunate to have an opportunity at CSK like I have, to be able to open the batting throughout the tournament, to be able to bowl certain overs whenever MS (Dhoni) needs me,” Watson said.
“To be there for MS but also for my selfish point of view to be able to see how his mind works and how incredibly he reads the game, to be able to ask those questions has been great as well.”
Chennai field eight players over the age of 30, with the squad’s experience proving vital against some of the emerging franchise rosters.
“There’s no doubt that experience in T20 tournaments and cricket in general can really come through especially in pressure situations,” Watson said.
Despite a 14-year international career, 12 of those running parallel to Dhoni’s span at the top level, Watson still is in awe of the masterful nature of Chennai’s captain.
“Just his feel and intuition for the game, I’ve experienced that with a few incredible players I’ve played with, MS is certainly right up there,” he said.
“The feel that he has for the game, what a batsman is going to do, what a bowler should do, as you can see when he bats as well, nine times out of 10 he chases the runs down as well.”
Chennai sit behind only ladder leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad on percentage and a qualifying final between the teams on Wednesday will grant the victor a straight passage through to the final.
The evergreen allrounder is eyeing a second IPL title, a decade on from his last triumph with Rajasthan in 2008.
Watson, who missed just one regular season match for the season, will be hoping to return to the Chennai line-up, with the team vying for their third title.
Australian viewers can watch the 2018 season of the IPL exclusively on Fox Sports